SA’s heritage is about democracy and those who fought for it
Instead of denigrating what 1994 brought us, let’s strive for the equality those behind it envisioned for us
What was the point of Heritage Day again? Every year we are treated to traditional gear, braais and all manner of events and actions that are meant to remind us of who we are, where we come from and how proud we should be of our diversity and varied cultures and faiths.
With these events many have gone out of their way to remind us that our heritage is more than just putting on traditional attire and singing the national anthem and tucking into a boerewors roll. Letlapa Mphahlele, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania stalwart and author of the excellent memoir Son of the Soil, tweeted last week: “Heritage is more than wearing a goat’s skin and painting one’s face with red ochre. True heritage is about owning and controlling conditions of nature and justly sharing the results of social labour. Heritage should not be a form of escapism into the cocoon of oppressive ethnic practices.”
Mphahlele is absolutely right. The content of our 1994 breakthrough is not just about enjoying a day in the sun with the accoutrements of our past. It is also about equity, pride, redress, ownership and dignity...